Make no mistake, one of the biggest trends you’ll see this fall is PC makers slapping touchscreens on their current machines so as to make them a little more Windows 8-appropriate. And Acer is no exception: the company is introducing touch-enabled versions of its existing Aspire V5 and M5 laptops, both of which will go on sale this month.
Starting with the M5, it’s the touch-enabled version of the M5 Ultrabook we reviewed earlier this year. Though the standard version is available in 14- and 15-inch screen sizes, the touchscreen model (aka the 481PT, pictured above) will only be offered with a 14-inch (1,366 x 768) panel. This, too, has a Core i5 CPU and 6GB of RAM, though its 500GB hard drive is paired with a 20GB SSD for faster boot-ups. Like the non-touch version, it’s rated for eight hours of runtime. Surprisingly, even though it’s classified as an Ultrabook, it manages to make room for an optical drive — impressive, given its 0.81-inch-thick chassis is still relatively slender. Both machines will be sold exclusively at Best Buy in the US, with the regular M5 starting at $700 and that touch-enabled version going for $800.
As for the budget-minded V5 series, the touchscreen will only be offered on the 14-inch version (the V5-471P). Max specs include up to 8GB of RAM and up to 750GB of HDD storage. (Either way, you get a 1,366 x 768 display, a Core i5-3317UB processor and your requisite Intel HD 4000 graphics.) That model starts at $750, though the non-touch models are priced at $500 and up.